New York, NY, August 29, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed shock at an alleged violent and unprovoked anti-Semitic attack on a rabbi while he was walking in downtown Berlin with his six-year-old daughter, and called on German authorities to ensure the assailants are brought to justice.
According to reports, four youths asked the visibly identifiable rabbi if he was a Jew, and then proceeded to physically attack him, causing a head wound that required hospitalization. The perpetrators also reportedly threatened to kill the rabbi's daughter.
"We are shocked by the alleged anti-Semitic attack in Berlin on a rabbi in front of his young daughter, who was also apparently threatened," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Similar anti-Semitic and xenophobic incidents have been occurring across Europe with alarming frequency. It is a reminder of the need for heightened public condemnation of such acts by political, civic and religious leaders and renewed commitment to anti-bias education and religious tolerance programming in European schools, particularly in Germany."
Mr. Foxman added, "We welcome the swift and unequivocal condemnation of this brutal attack by Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, and call on German police to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice."
An ADL survey of anti-Semitism in 10 European countries, released in March, found a high level of anti-Semitic attitudes among the general population of Germany. More than 20 percent of the population was deemed to hold anti-Semitic attitudes, with 52 percent of those surveyed responding that they agreed with the statement that "Jews are more loyal to Israel than to their own country," and 43 percent concurring that "Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.